From the internationally best-selling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.
The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life is never the same.
As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to a question: was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?
This introductory novel in Archer’s ambitious series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler’s Germany.
From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes listeners on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life 100 years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the listener nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.
©2011 Jeffrey Archer (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
I have truly, truly, truly enjoyed this book. The story was so well narrated, and well told until I couldnt put it down. Each and every person involved in the story had their own voice and I could see them in my mind's eye. When the "deep secret" finally came out I could barely contain myself. I loved the twists, and turns and the story told from everyones point of view. I'm only sorry that I will have to wait for the next book to see what happens to Harry. Loved it, loved it!
Big mystery lover here! The picture is of my father who is suffering with dementia and my youngest daughter on her wedding day.
Mr. Archer is just a great teller of tales. His heroes and heroines, in this case autobiographical, are so engaging and charismatic I became hopelessly addicted to the series.
The same can be said of the villain. he a tragically bad seed from a family of outstanding good character, nobility and wealth. He reminds me of several of Follet's villains in Pillars of the Earth and Dangerous Fortune.
The intricate British cast system is brilliantly exposed as it provides much of the series' theme.
The performance is, in a word, brilliant.
The story was great...the performing of the narration made it awesome!! So glad I listened rather than read this book!
Enjoyed this book and all the characters. Archer winds his usual web. can't wait until the next book.
This book starts off painfully slow. There seems to be nothing eventful or entertaining for the first 4 to 6 hours; BUT, hang in there.
This book reminds me of a Ken Follett novel in a lot of ways - which is a good thing as I am a big fan of Follet. There is good character development and if you keep in mind that Archer intends to make this a five book series, I think you'll find it acceptable he takes so long to develop the characters - of course if long and involved is not your style, you'll probably want to skip this one.
Overall, I am getting the feeling this may end up being one of my favorite series of novels. I have listened to Archer novels before and have liked them all so far.
With respect to narration, I'm not a big fan of multiple readers, and if I judge the end product, I don't think Emelia Fox added any value to the production by reading the lead female character; however, she was not a distraction. They both delivered a fine performance - Roger Allam is especially good.
I highly recommended this one, it has the potential to be a great series of books!!
The characters in "Only Time Will Tell" are one-dimensional and trite: The poor, struggling virtuous (or at least mostly virtuous) single mother sacrificing all for her son. The evil, rich ship-yard scion. The hard-working, nice-guy hero. Good grief. At any moment I expected the evil, rich guy to tie the poor, struggling, single mother to the railroad tracks. But that would have been too original for Archer. I fell asleep a few times while listening, only to awake to another absurd plot twist. I won't give any away, but Archer uses every silly soap opera trick. Occasionally, he injects historical facts to set the story in a real timeframe; these references are so obtrusive I'm guessing he employed a researcher and plugged in the researcher's notes whenever he got writer's block. (Note to Archer: fire your researcher. the Miranda case which resulted in the reading of Miranda rights was in 1966.) As one other reviewer stated, "...this is not literature." Nope. Not even close.
The readers' performances, however, are very good.
Mediocre in all respects. The character development is unconvincing, the plot is predictable, and the story line is boring. I feel ripped off for the time I spent with it.
I will not be awaiting the sequel.
Absurd twists and turns and equally absurd coincidences. Unrealistic, unbelievable and not all that interesting. I was disappointed. If you read Kane and Abel then you've read this.
Archer is my favorite living fiction author. So sad the marketing people decided to chop him up into bits and pieces. What next, selling books by the chapter? But then, I suppose this scheme would work well in magazines and tabloids. I'd be much happier to wait until the story is ready to be told in full. Please call me when it's ready.
Exciting Historic Telling
The Kent Family Chronicles
This is where we came from ....
Once again ... a fine listen.
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